LARS LARSEN TURNS 70
Author: Martin Møller Aamand, Communications & PR Manager
On 6 August 2018, JYSK’s founder and owner, Lars Larsen, will turn 70.
To celebrate our founder’s round birthday, here you can learn a little more about the man who opened the world’s first JYSK store in 1979.
- Lars Larsen is born on 6 August 1948 at 13:08 in the small town of Arnborg in Central Jutland, Denmark. A few months earlier, his father had passed away, so his mother was alone with “Little Lars” and his three older siblings.
- Some years later, the family moves to Thy in Northern Jutland, where Lars Larsen grows up and tries his strengths with various after-school jobs. After leaving school, he gets his first full-time job as a curtain fitter.
- Following a turbulent year with many kilometres on the road and lots of hard work, Lars Larsen feels it is time for a change. He seizes the opportunity to become manager of the duvets and mattresses department in the same company.
- His time as department manager proves very educational for Lars Larsen, and he achieves great knowledge about all types of home textiles. As department manager, he is also responsible for purchasing products, visiting supplier factories and even creating ads for the local paper.
- The first ad created by Lars Larsen is titled “LORRY CRASHED – goods worth 100,000 DKK damaged”. As a true tradesman, he has bought some spring mattresses, which were dirty from falling off the lorry. Lars Larsen uses the chance for publicity, and sales go really well.
- In the late 1960s, Lars Larsen and his wife move to Aalborg in Northern Jutland, where his wife got a job. The couple later have their two children here, first a son and then a daughter.
- In 1971, Lars Larsen continues his career as store manager at MinusService, which sells home textiles cheaper than competitors do, because customer service is not included. Following great success, Lars Larsen gets to open two additional stores, one in Aalborg and one in Aarhus.
- Inspired by international discount chains and his experiences with retail, Lars Larsen wants to start his own chain of stores, where he wants a broader assortment of home textiles at low prices, but including customer service.
- He finds the store location on Silkeborgvej in Aarhus, and the first store named Jysk Sengetøjslager opens on 2 April 1979.
- Since then, Lars Larsen’s great tradesmanship has ensured JYSK, which the company was renamed in 2001, an international role among the world’s largest chains of stores, with more than 2,600 stores in 50 countries.